Bowel cancer symptoms: Four key signs of bowel cancer in your poo – ‘don’t ignore them’

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Bowel cancer is an extremely common type of cancer in the UK, but huge numbers of people still aren’t fully aware of the signs to look out for. It doesn’t help that the symptoms can be incredibly subtle in its early stages.

Bowel cancer is a general term for any cancer that develops in the large bowel, and it may sometimes be known as colon or rectal cancer.

About one in every 20 people in the UK will develop bowel cancer at some point in their lifetime, according to the NHS.

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But it’s often diagnosed much later after it’s developed, because the symptoms can be easily mistaken for something less serious.

Everyone should consider checking their stools regularly to look out for any of the four key warning signs.

READ MORE: Bowel cancer signs: The unusual sensation relating to bowel movement

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But feeling like you can’t fully empty your bowels could also be caused by bowel cancer, warned charity Bowel Cancer UK.

“Bowel cancer is very treatable but the earlier it’s diagnosed, the easier it is to treat,” it said.

“People whose cancer is diagnosed at an early stage have a much higher chance of successful treatment than those whose cancer has become more widespread.

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“If you have any symptoms, don’t be embarrassed and don’t ignore them. Doctors are used to seeing lots of people with bowel problems.

“Tell your GP if you have noticed any persistent and unexplained changes in your bowel habit, especially if you also have bleeding from your back passage.

“You may have looser poo and you may need to poo more often than normal. Or you may feel as though you’re not going to the toilet often enough or you might not feel as though you’re not fully emptying your bowels.”

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Other bowel cancer symptoms include unexplained bleeding from the anus, unexplained weight loss, or persistent fatigue.

You might also feel like there’s a lump or pain in your stomach.

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